Archives for posts with tag: Mountains

After an 18 hour train trip through Sweden and up into the mountains, I finaly made it to my destination – Bjornfjell in Norway. It was, alas, not the place I remembered from a previous trip to Narvik. It was all closed for the season too, so I set out on a new adventure. I found the track-layers trail of old and took off back to Sweden. This area has a lot of history from the time of the Sami to the modern times of mining, train building, WWII, road building and today the trekkng and resort life.

The trail, skirting the train line, was better than expected. It brought me first to the border resort town in Sweden called Riksgränsen. This resort was closed now too, as it is a winter sport area. So I continued.

I was thinking of stoping at this camp site, but it was too early to set up my tent (which I haven’t used for years – not sure if it is good anymore). The weather was great, so I continued to the next resort town Katterjokk where the hikers lodge was open and got a room. Nice place, very inexpensive, so I guess I’ll have to stay one more night and do some hiking around here.

I got the last crop circle finished (I could have done better) just in time.

Now I’m on the bus to the train to the mountains for some hiking. That is, to Bjornfjell in Norway. They say it might be snowing tomorrow.

There is much more to see in the mountains around Abisko. 

Like people




Mountan bikes


Sami huts



Alpine flowers



Lichens




Stone



And such!

Deeper into the mountains. 

A couple days of trekking is a wounderful relief from the garden chores. 

A bit noisy, but so soothing!

  
We took a trip to the mountains of northern Finland to do some wandering, but we got as far as the visitors center and took this picture. 

It was so cold, cloudy and rainy that we chickened out and took in at the Crazy Reindeer Hotel in Levi instead. They had a sauna in every room and a grand breakfast!  

That may have been just as well, as my hip joints are not what they used to be. We had a wonderful time anyway, testing our Finnish etc. 

Most Swedes go south to the sun and warmth for vacation. We usually go the other direction – to the north, where it’s cool. This year I’m hiking from Nikkaluokta to the Kebnekaisa Mountain Lodge, then back again. The weather is warm and sunny this time, in fact, it’s hot and sweaty hiking. I brought too many clothes for winter. It was cold here until yesterday and there is fresh snow on the mountains. This morning I saw some mountain climbers with skis hooked to their packs.

Here at the lodge the wifi is very weak, but I’ll try to load a few pictures. NOT working. (I’ve returned and will now try to fix it again)

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Rocky trails.

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Arriving at the lodge

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This is probably the most popular hiking route in Sweden with thousands taking it every year. Many continue hiking to other destinations or climb to the top of Kebnekaisa. It’s considered an easy trek, but I wasn’t the only one hobbling in late to breakfast this morning.

The lodge in morning light.

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I had plenty of food with me, but I couldn’t help noticing edible plants along the way. Besides the common dandelion, alchemilla and plantain growing near settled areas, here are a couple of notables.

One of the most strikng is the björnloka – Heracleum sphondylium, common hogweed.

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It can grow over two meters tall with spectacular balls of white flowers. It is slightly poisonous, causing skin irritation, but the natives all around the world have used the peeled stalks as food. I have one in the garden that I have to constantly cut back and not let it go to seed.

Another is the Hjortron berries – Rubus chamaemous, cloudberry. This is a much sought after delicacy among the northern peoples.

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These were right beside the trail, still a bit unripe.

Then there was tätört – Pinguiculis vulgaris, butterwort. It was tradionally used to make long milk, a kind of stringy sour milk, nowdays made with a lactobacillus species completly without the butterwort. It does produce protein enzymes causing milk to coagulate, so it probably did have some activity in the old milk souring process.

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There is also a story about using the leaves as a hair treatment to give ones hair an all so desirable yellow color. I should try it.

The wandering started at Låktatjåkka Station.

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And progressed upward into the fog covered mountains. The weather forecast predicted rain and thunder storms.

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The trail followed a rushing stream most of the way.

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In the fog it was a good thing the trail was marked. I almost got lost a couple of times.

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Water everywhere.

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And snow.

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And fog.

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Now, the next day, the sun was out. Leaving the lodge in the sun, the mountain world took on a whole different perspective.

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And after a trek of 9 kilometers and a 800 meter descent, the panorama veiw from the Björkliden Lodge looks grand over a warm cup of coffee.

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I’ve been frantically weeding and preparing the garden so that I can leave it, go on vacation to the deep north and not have to worry about it too much. I don’t think I’ve ever had it so well weeded, but there is plenty more that could be done.

Goodbye Timo Garden.

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Now I’m on the bus to catch the night train to Kiruna where I’ll visit relatives and do some wandering in the mountains for a couple of days. Then to Pajala, Luleå, and Umeå to visit more friends and relatives.

It is very nice to get away from weeding and watering, etc for a while, but how will the garden manage without me.